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Sheep breeding has export potential

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, February 16
Agricultural analysts are suggesting that if Georgia is able to match its potential in the sheep breeding sector, it could see up to 200 million GEL in revenue.

Georgian sheep have been gaining ground in Middle Eastern countries, where they compete with sheep from Australia, Brazil, Ukraine and other countries.

Georgia currently has up to one million sheep and goats, but could potentially double that with a dedicated breeding and export program. A sheep "boom" began in 2009, when 267 000 sheep were exported from Georgia. In 2010, that number dropped to 160 000, but rebounded slightly to 165 000 in 2011. Sheep are exported primarily to Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran, as well as the UAE, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, and Qatar.

While sheep are generally exported for their meat, the wool industry also stands to benefit from increased stock.